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a game of musical chairs
A situation in which people or things are moved, shuffled, or rearranged from one position to another. After the boss resigned, it was a regular game of musical chairs in the company to figure out who would take over for whom. It's been a game of musical chairs trying to create enough space in the living room for Alex's birthday party this weekend.
accompany someone on a musical instrument
to provide complementary instrumental music for someone's musical performance. Sally accompanied the singer on the piano.
play musical chairs
to move people from one organization or job to another The teams play musical chairs at that position - all of the top punters have played for at least two teams.
Usage notes: also used in the form a game of musical chairs: Buckley was reassigned in a game of corporate musical chairs Thursday.
Etymology: based on the children's game in which there is one more player than there are chairs and the players walk in a circle around the chairs until music stops playing, at which time they hurry to the nearest empty chair
musical chairs, play
Move around from position to position, such as the jobs in an organization. For example, Bob took over for Tom, who took over for Mary, who got Bob's title-the boss loves to play musical chairs with the staff . This expression alludes to the children's game in which children walk around a number of seats while music plays, and there is one less chair than players. When the music stops the players must sit down, and the player who is left standing is eliminated. Then another chair is removed, and the game goes on until only one player is left sitting. [c. 1900]
n. acts of sexual promiscuity; sleeping with many people. (From the name of the game musical chairs.) Mary has been playing musical beds for about a year.